Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil parliamentary parties unanimously adopt Government deal

The arrangement proposes two-to-one investment in public services over tax cuts

Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, deal, parliamentary parties, Independents

Image: Páraic Gallagher

The Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil parliamentary parties have tonight unanimously adopted the deal on Government.

The 'confidence and supply' agreement will see Fianna Fáil support Fine Gael and Independents on key confidence votes from Opposition.

Fianna Fáil also says it is getting a number of key policy positions implemented as part of the deal.

Party leader Micheál Martin says the arrangement will remain in place until at least the end of 2018, barring "unforeseen accidents or complete negligence in terms of attentions to these issues":

One Dublin City Councillor - Daithí de Róiste - has called for an emergency Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis to let the membership have their say.

However, Mr Martin says he is not obliged to do this, saying there is no provision in the rules of the party for such a scenario. 

"The only obligation would be if we were going into Government and had agreed a Programme for Government," he added.

The full details of the deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were revealed to party TDs and senators this evening.

It says that should an event arise that has the potential to undermine the agreement the two party leaders will aim to resolve it.

The document agrees that public spending versus tax cuts will be on a ratio of at least 2:1 and a realistic five year plan for the health service is to be drawn up.

Cuts to the Universal Social Charge are to be on a "fair basis" and be emphasised on low and middle income earners.

A public service pay commission is to be established and emergency legislation that cut public service pay is to be gradually repealed.

It also includes previously disclosed measures on water charges, homelessness, mortgage arrears, childcare, and crime. The bill on the suspension of water charges is due to be put before the new Dáil within weeks of the new Government forming.

On the subject of housing, the document proposes to "significantly increase and expedite the delivery of social housing units, remove barriers to private housing supply and initiate an affordable housing schemes".

Economic proposals include the establishment of a 'rainy day' fund, and maintaining Ireland's 12.5% corporation tax rate while engaging 'constructively' with international tax reform efforts.

The agreement is said to be political 'and is not justiciable'.

It comes after it emerged that Fine Gael has also agreed to publish in full all deals with Independents in Government negotiations.

Fianna Fáil pressed for the move after Enda Kenny committed to it in a pre-election promise.

Talks with Independents also continued with some saying that a deal in time for the Dáil to elect a Taoiseach this week is "unlikely".

Dublin Bay North TD Finian McGrath says some Independents are finding it difficult to negotiate on some issues.

"There's so many people involved in it, and they all have their own little blockages - and we don't want to be rushed as well," he said.

Negotiating teams from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil met again this afternoon to finalise the proposed agreement between the two parties.

The document outlining the arrangement was then revealed to TDs and Senators from both parties at separate parliamentary party meetings.

The Independent Alliance was also back in talks at Government Buildings - with agriculture, health, justice and education issues on the agenda.

Dublin-Rathdown TD Shane Ross says a lot of work still needs to be done.

Mr Kenny needs the support of six more TDs.

Pat Leahy is the deputy political editor of the Irish Times.

He told Newstalk Breakfast Mr Kenny will have votes to spare when deputies are asked to elect a new Taoiseach - meaning individual Independents have less negotiating power.